Areca 1880ix-12 PCIe 6G SAS RAID Controller Review SSD IN RAID 0 – Test Bench and Protocol

This is the bread and butter of RAID testing today and it is something that I am particularly proud of.  As intimidating as it may seem, the eight OWC Mercury Pro Extreme RE (RAID Enhanced) SSDs loaned to The SSD Review by Other World Computing were more than up to the task of seeing how far we could push the Areca 1880.

TEST BENCH CONFIGURATION

As you might have guessed, this is truly no ordinary Test Bench, and I have to concede that I have spent  more hours than I can count to get this system where it is today.  It just may be one of the best to be found anywhere for the task at hand:

CPU: Intel i7-920 DO @ 4.46 Ghz

MOTHERBOARD: EVGA E760 Classified Motherboard

RAM: Dominator Gt 2000Mhz 7-8-7

GPU: Dual  EVGA GTX280 SSC

POWER: ST1500 Fully Modular 1500 Watt Power Supply 1500W (Peak 1600W) 12v1320W/110A (Peak 120A)combined+3.3 5v  280W

CHASSIS: Danger Den Torture Rack

CPU COOLER:  HK 3.0

WATER SYSTEM: KMP-400 w/reservoirs on a Parallel loop with Bitspower reservoir , two MCR320-QP rad, 1 BIPS 240    rad.  Watercooled  Areca  1880ix-12 4gb cache raid card, EK Ram Block, EK Fullboard Mobo Block on Loop 1.    Second Loop on CPU only. GPU Loop 3-MCP-655 and Honda Radiator.

STORAGE: 8x OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE (RAID Enhanced) 40GB SSDs

TEST PROTOCOL

Our main goal in testing is to ensure that all test results are as accurate  as they can be and no anomalies slip through.  We conduct all tests three times and, if necessary, we may conduct specific tests in Windows 7 safe mode to ensure the OS has little to no influence on the end result.  We prefer to use as many benchmark programs as possible to assist with confirmation of results, and provide the reader with the actual tests to avoid any confusion when unexpected test benchmarks are received.

Our OWC SSDs will be placed in a RAID 0 configuration and this is mainly to illuminate the sheer speed of the Areca coupled with SSDs that are specifically designed for high performance in raid arrays.  The 28% over provisioning is going to allow us to push them that extra mile to see just how close we can come to the big numbers.

OF INTEREST TO OUR ENTHUSIAST CROWD

Connecting 8 solid state drives to the Bench Rig is no easy task without the proper enclosure, especially when we have 8 other SSDs occupying the enclosure at the rear of the Bench. We simply secured them to the desk.  Our choice of SSDs over hard drives was a no-brainer given that they require so little power, it is VERY easy to give them juice!

All eight of these SSD are powered by one Molex power connector on my Power Supply. We simply used a 4X molex splitter to get it split out to four molex plugs, then some molex to 2 sata connectors.

Voila!!!  We have power, connect the data cables, and we are off to the races!

Pg 1 – Introduction

Pg2 – Test Bench & Protocol

Pg3 – Preliminaries, ATTO & Crystal DiskMark

Pg4 – AS SSD & HD Tach

Pg5 – Windows Index & HDTune Pro

Pg6 – IOMeter & Everest

Pg7 – PCMark Vantage and Conclusions

Would you like to discuss testing or see further tests conducted?

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